Covert Ottawa Weekly Newsletter: Step-3 Opening Update Edition

Good Monday morning, everyone!! I hope you’re all enjoying the summer break, and taking some time to relax with friends and family now that you can again! I for one have seen people who I haven’t seen for a year and a half, and getting hugs from them is such a cool treat! I think we’re doing pretty well, and the end to this may be just around the corner. There are still some scary pandemic stories around the world though, so we’re not out of this just yet. Let’s just keep pushing through the vaccines and hope for herd immunity.


With step 3 well underway, life is returning to normal, whatever that may look like at the end of this. Being in the event industry, I am thrilled about this, and am enjoying watching the case numbers decrease and businesses and events starting to open. The purpose of this week’s post is to highlight some events and activities that are actually happening, not just being cancelled!! Hooray! We finally have a festival season again, so we’ll start with those!

Escapade Music Festival (September 3rd – 5th )

This is the first major music festival to return (semi-post pandemic), and it will be held on September 3-5th. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what the venue will be, and I don’t see a line up yet. Details will be made available in the next few weeks I’m sure, but what has been announced is that there is a mandatory double vaccination requirement to enter the festival grounds! For you anti-vaxxers, you alternately can show a negative COVID test from the previous 24 hours.


Tickets are actually sold out for this event, but since capacity is not yet known, it’s possible they will be opening more up? You may also find that Kijiji is your friend for these, particularly because 2020 festival tickets are being honoured, so there may be people selling off their tickets due to scheduling issues. Time will tell on that too. You can read the recent statement for this year’s festival on their website by clicking here.

Chamberfest (July 22nd – August 4th )

Ottawa Chamberfest is already underway from July 22nd – August 4th and while a virtual festival was originally planned, due to the fact that we are in step 3 of reopening, they have added a live element as well! Performances can be taken in at Beechwood, Steinway Piano Gallery Ottawa, and Wellington’s Legendary Record Centre. All the details for both their virtual festival and the live events can be found on their website.

Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival (September 2nd – 6th)

The 34th annual Gatineau Hot Air Balloon festival has been confirmed to run September 2nd through 6th at Parc La Baie in Gatineau. It will be chock-full of entertainment, boasting a strong lineup of artists, including Fred Pellerin and Coeur de Pirate among many others.



Tickets are now on sale, and all of the information is on their website. You can read this year’s announcement and view the program by clicking here.

Ottawa Cityfolk (TBD)

Not yet….stay tuned for an announcement in the near future.

It’s not just festivals that are starting up again; there are events of all types going on throughout the city. With kids home for the summer (not that too much has changed from when school was running), you’ll likely be looking for things to do. Museums are now open to the public again, and are really struggling to get visitors. You can check out each museum website to get an idea of which exhibits are running. I’d like to point one out, though.

The Museum of Nature has partnered with Little Rays Nature Centre and has a new exhibit called, “Owls Rendez-Vous,” which is included with regular admission.



 “Visitors will be able to get up close to some of these live charismatic birds which will include four species of owls, each housed in specially constructed habitats on the museum’s elevated outdoor plaza along Argyle Avenue. Observe a Barn Owl, Great-horned Owl, Snowy Owl, and Eurasian Eagle Owl, and learn about some adaptations of these birds of prey.” – Museum of Nature Press Release

Here are links to the other large museums in the Ottawa area for you to have a look at:

Museum of Nature – Canadian Museum of Nature – Musée canadien de la nature

War Museum – Home | Canadian War Museum

Museum of Science and Technology – Home | Canada Science and Technology Museum (

Museum of Civilization (Gatineau) – Home | Canadian Museum of History (

Aviation Museum – Home | Canada Aviation and Space Museum (

Ottawa Art Gallery – National Gallery of Canada | Welcome to the National Gallery of Canada


Comedy on the Water (Every second Saturday from July 3rd – September 25th)

Our friends at Brewery Comedy Nights have come up with an outstanding idea to kick off their re-opening this month. Throughout the summer, they’ve been hosting an outdoor comedy night that takes place on that big ol’ pirate ship at Mooney’s Bay. This is the first event I’ve seen using the ship as a venue, and I think it’s brilliant. There are still five nights remaining this summer allowing you to take advantage of this unique experience, but tickets sell fast, and a few of the remaining shows are already sold out. Have a look, and book your tickets soon. All the dates and info can be found on my events calendar.



Van Gough: The Immersive Experience (July 23rd – September 16th)

In my last newsletter, I talked about this interactive experience, hosted in part by the management team at Bluesfest. This event takes place at the Aberdeen Pavilion, and due to popular demand has extended its duration in Ottawa. The event is now a week longer; doors opened July 23rd and the show runs through September 16th. Tickets are available for one hour time slots through the website, and all of the details can be found on my events calendar.

Brew Donkey Returns (Starting in September)

To round out my list of events coming in the near future, I’m happy to announce that Brew Donkey tours are rolling out again starting in September. I know it’s still a month away, but what a great experience, and a fantastic way to discover new craft beers!! In addition to the tried-and-true classic tours that they offer, there are two new tours that you can check out in September and October; “All About the Boo’z” and “Who Likes Sport Sports” start on September 25th and October 16th , respectively.

Thanks everyone for reading, and stay tuned for more announcements as the city continues to reopen. Please continue to be safe out there, we still have 200,000 residents among us who haven’t been vaccinated (yet). Hopefully that number continues to decline though, so this pandemic will be found only in the history books. As usual, I love your comments, emails and chats, so please feel free to let me know how I’m doing, what you want to see on my site, or just say “hi!”

Have a great week, stay healthy and be kind to one another!



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